As announced on October 21, six Conference USA member programs have applied and been accepted into the American Athletic Conference. Florida Atlantic, UAB, Rice, Charlotte, North Texas and UTSA are slated to begin play in the American in time for the start of the 2023-24 season.
“We’re adding schools that not only share our philosophy of competition at the highest level, but have shown they’re willing to make the necessary investments to do so,” said AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco during the announcement of the new schools on Wednesday.
With Conference USA having eight member institutions remaining, there has been speculation about the stability of the league going forward and where C-USA could turn to add teams — or which remaining schools could consider leaving. Six of the eight remaining schools have released statements from either their university president or athletic directors.
ODU President Brian Hemphill’s office released the following.
“As a C-USA member, ODU officials are tracking these discussions and activities,” his statement read in part. “We are also actively engaged in a number of conversations to ensure the long-term viability and attractiveness of C-USA for ODU, especially our student-athletes and dedicated fans.”
Lousiana Tech President Dr. Les Guice released the following.
“As we engage in discussions with our league partners and other nationally renowned universities around the country, we are confident that the future for Louisiana Tech is bright,” said Guice in part.
Statement from Louisiana Tech President Les Guice |— LA Tech Sports (@LATechSports) October 21, 2021
"As we engage in discussions with our league partners and other nationally-renowned universities around the country, we are confident that the future for Louisiana Tech is bright."
RELEASE: https://t.co/4im0O7CmHU pic.twitter.com/QexBylbAMt
UTEP Athletic Director Jim Senter’s statement reads in part.
“The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is a proud member of Conference USA,” said Senter. “Regardless of our conference membership, our commitment does not waiver. We aspire to compete for and win championships!”
Marshall interim Athletic Director Jeff O’Malley tweeted the following statement on October 18.
“With the news that broke yesterday, I want to assure our fans that we have worked and will continue to work to position Marshall in the best possible way,” said O’Malley. “The one thing I’ve learned throughout this process is that Marshall University has a tremendous brand and one of the best fan bases in the country. Although the climate is changing, I’m very excited about the future of Marshall Athletics.”
Western Kentucky Athletic Director Todd Stewart’s office released the following in part.
“Throughout the storied history of Western Kentucky Athletics, our programs have a championship level on and off the field of play,” said Stewart. “We will continue to be an impactful leader in collegiate athletics, will continue to excel at the highest level, and are well positioned for the future ahead.”
Middle Tennessee State
MTSU Athletic Director Chris Massaro released the following statement in part.
“As the largest university in the booming Metro Nashville MSA, the 28th largest TV market in the country, we offer attractive audience demographics and a prime location. All of these factors are significant advantages as we engage C-USA partners and colleagues in these discussions,” said Massaro.
At the time of publishing, Southern Miss has not released a statement.
I reached out to FIU Athletics for comment twice over 24 hours seeking comment on realignment. At the moment, FIU has “no comment” on realignment as said by an FIU spokesperson.